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“The Most Fabulous Hotel at the end of the World.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Peponi Hotel

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Peponi Hotel
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“The Most Fabulous Hotel at the end of the World.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2012

This was my second time saying at Peponi and it was just as fabulous as I remembered. The Peponi Hotel is located in the Shela village of Lamu Island, off the Kenyan coast in the Indian Ocean. Family owned and operated, Peponi is a small, intimate place of beauty and luxury. It exists amid a UNESCO world heritage site that dates back to the 1500s, where there are no cars and transportation of every kind happens by boat or donkey. Despite these limitations, it is a place where your every need is catered to with grace and elegance and without shoes. The barman can pour you any cocktail (including an "old pal" which is the specialty of the house) while wearing a kikoy (the traditional swahili skirt worn by both men and women), the sashimi is fresh from the beach front. and the sounds of the ocean and the call to prayer mingle in the breeze. Carol and Andrew and their loyal staff, all with beautiful, smiling faces will lavish you with personal service to rival any Four Seasons. Sunset ride on a dhow with cocktails, no problem. Swahili dinner by moonlight, no problem. Spontaneous birthday celebration, no problem. And then there is Gumbo, the Peponi dog who doesn't miss a chance to swim with you in the pool or in the ocean. Peponi is a place like no other, located in between Shela Village and 6 miles of deserted beach, it hosts a most unique charm. It is truly is a secret haven at the end of the world. Can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Glindah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    185
    31
    6
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was our first trip to Peponi on Lamu Island, but hopefully, it won't be our last! It was like being in Paradise-- beautiful views of the ocean and wonderfully-designed places to relax and enjoy the view. The food is fabulous, and they will serve it wherever you desire: on your private veranda, by the pool, on a dhow, or wherever. Carol, the owner, makes you feel totally at home and helps you decide which activities you would like to do: birding, taking a dhow to visit the nearby ruins or coral-cutting village, visiting Lamu village, snorkeling, or trying your hand at sailing a traditional dhow. We felt totally safe walking on the beach, as well as walking or taking a boat to the town of Lamu.

Room Tip: All of the rooms have a view of the ocean. Some are more private than others.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kithaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2012

Just a wonderful place to visit and relax. Carol and Lars are great hosts and make you feel right at home. It's such a charming little town nestled in Shela just outside the main town of Lamu. Narrow maze-like alleys you can safely wander around and stumble upon quaint little shops. With no cars on the island, boats, donkeys, and your feet are the mode of transportation. A couple had been married recently and came to Lamu to celebrate with a traditional stick dance. We went into town to watch and they welcomed us and even had us join in to the dance. A great experience topped off by a top notch hotel in a wonderful part of the world! There's no spa but you can get a killer massage for $25 USD!

Room Tip: All the rooms looked equally beautiful!
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank caliskier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derbyshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2012

Have visited Peponi many times (firstly about 35 years ago !) Still one of our favorite places in the world ( I own an award winning travel agency!) Agree -- it is not for everyone ... quirky / charming / not mainstream ULTRA luxury (though the food and ambiance certainly is !) Roll on September !!

Room Tip: The Superior rooms (especially the ones right on beach) are special (not "swish"- this is...
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank journeysderbyshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2012

This is the second time I've gone to Lamu with my hubby. It's a very different kind of a holiday: you won't get any internet, TV, or even a phone signal, to start with. The only mode of transport on the island is to walk, or ride a donkey. Sailing is phenomenal, especially if you book a dhow sunset trip. Food at Peponi is diverse, delicate and tasty. Choice of wine, good. Home-made jams and preserves served for breakfast - just splendid. Activities: from Pink Gin to Mohitos, but you can also go for a long walk on the beach, just make sure you are back before the high tide or you'll get quite wet. The way the hotel is run makes you want to stay longer, you feel you become a part of the family. I'll go back, that's for sure.

Room Tip: New wing seems brighter and more open towards the creek.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Solome_Nagadya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
162 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2012

We wanted to spend a couple of days unwinding on the beach after about 10 days on safari, Lamu seemed to fit what we were looking for.

I will say that the staff is very nice and welcoming and the rooms are clean..the Arabic foot bath at your room's entrance is a nice touch.. and the chef was attentive to my food allergies.. so I can't complain there.

Just a couple of nitpicks:
- The afternoon housekeeping service wasn't exceptional. We ran out of soap and it wasn't replaced. Wastepaper basket weren't emptied.. things like that which make the difference between very good and excellent.
- If you're looking to sit on a sandy beach like in the Carribean, this isn't it. The "beach" is small and there are people going about their everyday business walking to and from on the beach and there are no beach chairs. But the veranda overlooking the beach is very nice and you can have lunch and drinks there.
- It would have been nice to have screens on the windows so you could keep them open without worrying about bugs. We wanted to enjoy the ocean breeze and no matter how much we sprayed the room and put repellant on us, we got bit more than the whole other 10 days in Kenya put together.

On the property, resort-wear is acceptable.. but due to the conservative nature of the area, once you venture outside, modest dress is expected. They do provide wraps to use during your stay.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for beach view
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MakeupArtist40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2012

Despite the fact there are now a couple of fairly luxurious hotels in Shella and across the channel on Manda Island, Peponi is still THE place to stay in Lamu. I have been to Peponi a number of times, and the trip we took this month was by far the best. The food, though always good, has gotten even better. Try the ginger crab and the tempura calamari - out of this world.
Though there has been some bad publicity due to the kidnapping of tourists, every effort has been made to ensure Lamu is protected. The police now have speedboats and the entrance to the channel is guarded by the Kenya Navy, making Lamu probably the safest place to visit in Kenya right now.

Room Tip: It's worth the extra to get a superior room, with private terrace and gorgeous views.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DianaDalek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Peponi Hotel

Property: Peponi Hotel
Address: Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Hotel Class:4 star — Peponi Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Peponi Hotel Lamu

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